Monday, January 13, 2014

The Cape

This previous Saturday Matt and I decided to explore a new part of the island: the west coast. Our home base on Camp Courtney faces the Pacific Ocean, but if you drive just a few miles (excuse me, kilometers) west on our skinny island you reach the East China sea. Our destination was Cape Zampa which has a trademark lighthouse. We could not tour the lighthouse, but the views were still astounding. The day was cloudy, but the water was the deepest blue I had ever seen the ocean. It crashed against the cliffs sending spray flying. The cliffs themselves were made of igneous rock (sorry, my science major is showing) and therefore so jagged and pitted that it seemed as if we were walking across the surface of the moon.

The most surprising aspect of this trip was the lack of supervision or signs. Cape Zampa is a park full of families with children and dogs, but nowhere did you see railings limiting access to the edge of the cliffs. The only rope and sign I saw informed you that the lighthouse was closed. Everything else was free game. Nowhere in the states would you see such trust in (or lack of concern for) people. I have been to Stone Mountain in Georgia multiple times, and there are chain link fences around the mountain for safety. I was terrified that I could get as close as I wanted to the edge of these cliffs, and I always maintained at least five feet of distance.

While Matt stayed by the lighthouse with his camera, I climbed the next cliff by myself so that I could get a picture way up high. I was surprised there was no direct to path to follow after so many tourists had gone the same way. I had to pick my way across boulders that were still sharp to the touch, not at all worn down from the wind or the footsteps of people. I did make it to the edge (five feet away actually for safety) and got my picture!

I was more scared of falling on sharp rocks than anything else. 

Can you still see me?

How about now? That little speck on the cliff is me!
Matt joined me at the top, and we wondered at the view that was previously hidden. Cliffs along the shore in the foreground and the rest of the island in the distance. Breathtaking. 

A helpful couple of Americans took a picture of the two of us together. When you are in a foreign country, everyone that speaks English is an automatic friend. I am so glad I was able to experience such a view only a few miles (grr...kilometers) from my new home. 

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